The University of Oxford (pictured above), the oldest in the English-speaking world, took the top spot in the latest World University Rankings (WUR), released annually by Times Higher Education. The English university dating to 1096 dethroned the California Institute of Technology, a small, private school in Pasadena pictured below that had ranked No. 1 for five consecutive years. This is the first time a university outside the U.S. is No. 1 in the list’s 13-year history. Besides the Oxford-Caltech flip flop, the top of the list remained mostly the same as last year. Stanford University came in third, then the University of Cambridge, another U.K. institution founded in medieval times. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology came in fifth, just ahead of its Cambridge, Mass., neighbor, Harvard University, the top Ivy League school on the list. The other UK university in the top 10 list is Imperial College London in eight place.
WUR tends to focus on research, counting metrics like the number of citations and publications by a university’s scholars and the amount of research funding attained in a given year. The list also takes reputation into account by surveying some 20,000 leading scholars to identify top schools, said Phil Baty, rankings editor at Times Higher Education. “The single biggest individual indicator is research impact,” Mr. Baty said. “We’re looking at 56 million citations, 11.9 million research publications.” To a lesser extent, WUR also emphasizes global scholarship. Unlike popular American rankings like those produced by U.S. News & World Report, the world list has a global reach and includes only universities. WUR excludes popular metrics used by U.S. ranking systems like acceptance rate, test scores and postgraduation salary, Mr. Baty said.
Oxford’s boost came from an exceptionally strong research income and global collaboration. The university secured record research income of £522.9 million, or $679 million at today’s exchange rates, from external funders in the 2014-2015 academic year, said Louise Richardson, vice-chancellor of Oxford. “Industry, charities, health organizations and many other funders are all keen to invest in Oxford research,” said Ms. Richardson, chalking up the record funding to the strength and talent of the university’s scholars.
Phil Baty commented: “It is hard to overstate the important role London’s universities play in the UK. With four institutions in the top 40 of the World University Rankings, London remains one of the premier higher education cities in the world. As one of the world’s most welcoming cities – and one whose residents voted in favour of remaining within the EU – it is vital that the city can remain open to the best academic talent. The work being done at exceptional institutions such as Imperial College London, UCL, LSE and King’s College London and others attracts many of the world’s greatest academics and students to this renowned city and the country, as well as the city, would be worse off if London closed its doors.” The list gives the UK as the world’s second most popular destination for overseas students, with British Council figures showing almost half a million (493,570) students enrolled in UK Universities in 2013-14. The number of international students drawn to the UK continues to rise, up from 415,585 in 2008-09. Asia’s universities’ improved their ranking against London’s, with the National University of Singapore (24th) pipping LSE in the rankings and both China’s leading universities, Peking University (29th) and Tsinghua University (35th) being placed ahead of King’s.
Central bankers were in focus on Wednesday after both the Bank of Japan and the U.S. Federal Reserve issued policy updates. With that in mind, it's interesting to note where the heads of the world's major central banks attended college — and their places in the Times Higher Education's table. Fed Chair Janet Yellen attended Brown University and then Yale University, which were ranked respectively joint 51st and joint 12th in the world this year by Times Higher Education. Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda was educated at the 39th-placedUniversity of Tokyo and then studied at top-rated University of Oxford. Mark Carney of the Bank of England also attended the University of Oxford, after receiving a bachelor's degree in economics from Harvard University, which was ranked sixth this year by Times Higher Education. European Central Bank President Mario Draghi graduated from theSapienza University of Rome, which ranked outside the top 200, before gaining a doctorate in economics from the fifth-placed Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the U.S.
There were plenty of "big brains" in evidence last night at the Oxshott Bridge Club as 13 full Tables sat down for the First Round of our premier Pairs Competition of the year, the Tilling Trophy!! You can read all about it in the Report by clicking on the "Competitions" tab in the Menu to the left of this box, and click again on the "Competition News" tab. Alternatively you can study the Leaderboard and the individual Travellers by clicking on the "Latest Result" button at the top right of this page. The remaining six Rounds of the Tilling Trophy are in the third Wednesday of each month through May (excluding December). See you there!!
The 2015/16 Master Points Competition reaches it's climax next week. Currently there are five Pairs still in contention. Philip Duncan is currently in Fifth place with 170 points, only 10 points behind George Gardiner who has accumulated 180 points so far. Mike Mulligan isThird with 210 points, but he is 6 points behind Jonathan Spring who is inSecond place with 216 points. But our overall leader in currently Gail Norman; she has scored 50 points each with Eileen Goddard, Joan Low and Therezinha Gold, and 40 points each with Nicole Lamborne and George Gardiner; she lies in First place with 230 points. With just one week to go before the end of the Competition, it is all very exciting!! Watch this space!!
Finally the overall scoring from the Surrey SIMS competition on Wednesday 14th September have been computed. You can see how all of the Oxshott Pairs performed by clicking on the "Competition" tab in the Menu to the left of this box, and again on the "Competitions News" tab. Just scroll down and you will see the Table showing the comparison of the local result versus the Overall Surrey result!!